25 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips to Stand out in 2024

Your complete guide to getting noticed on LinkedIn.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Illustrated image of LIP

As of 2023, there are 950 million LinkedIn users in more than 200 countries around the world. Of the millions of profiles on there, 61 million are company profiles that regularly advertise their open roles, hoping to attract the very best candidates. Indeed, 72% of recruiters out there use LinkedIn when looking for candidates, according to British social media marketing agency The Social Shepherd.

On one hand, this means that jobseekers on LinkedIn can browse through a plethora of job advertisements relevant to them on any given day. On the other, given the staggering number of users, it means they’ll have some serious competition when they do apply.

In this article, we’ll discuss what you can do to stand out on the platform and attract recruiters so you can land your dream role faster. Here are 25 actionable tips on building a professional LinkedIn profile!

The importance of an effective LinkedIn profile

As mentioned earlier, an estimated three quarters of all recruiters use the social networking site to source talent, so not being on there could put you at a disadvantage. But you shouldn’t just create a profile and then leave it there to gather metaphorical dust. You need to stay on top of it, make it eye-catching and keep it up to date. Why?

According to statistics shared by LinkedIn, 61 million users search for jobs on LinkedIn each week; 117 job applications are submitted every second and 8 people are hired through the platform every minute. This puts into perspective just how competitive job searching on the networking site can get — and why it’s so important for users to stand out from the crowd.

Dedicating enough time and thought to filling out all vital sections will also lead to a much higher number of recruiters viewing your profile, compared to users whose profiles are less than 90% complete. This means that, even when you’re not actively searching for work, your profile will still be doing some of the work for you, attracting hirers and potentially leading to great opportunities.

How to make your profile stand out

We’ve seen how beneficial it is to have a great presence on LinkedIn and be active on the platform when looking for new job opportunities. Now let’s discuss some tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile look enticing in the eyes of recruiting professionals.

1. Craft a great headline

Much like your résumé, your LinkedIn profile needs a clear, concise headline. It’s one of the first things people will see when they visit your profile, and it will also appear below your name in searches, messages you send, comments you leave on people’s posts, and posts you share yourself.

Your headline could be plain and simple, like “Talent Acquisition Manager”. Or it could be a little longer, such as “Talent Acquisition Manager with 10+ Years’ Experience in Building Great Employer Brands”.

You could also write something humorous or creative, such as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Recruiter”. LinkedIn is a social networking site, after all, so adding a casual element to your profile won’t do any harm — so long as it’s used appropriately and in good taste.

2. Spend time on your summary

No LinkedIn profile is complete without a filled-out “About” section, also known as a LinkedIn bio or summary. Although this section can be several paragraphs long, no more than three lines you write will be visible to visitors, unless they select “See more”.

Our recommendation is to keep your writing in this section succinct. Three paragraphs, or 300 words approximately, is a good limit to aim for. Keywords like “management” and “analysis” should be included here, as they can boost how high you rank in searches.

Besides highlighting your expertise and achievements, use this section to get your personality to shine through. After all, hiring managers won’t just take into account your experience, but also your outlook and attitude to make sure you’re a good fit for the team.

3. Use a professional profile picture

What makes a good profile picture on social networking sites? The lighting, the cropping, the background and, of course, the subject — in this case: you!

Starting with the basics, it’s good to smile in your profile picture (even a subtle smile can help establish trust) and pick an outfit that’s relevant to your role. A cooking apron might raise eyebrows if you’re a banker, for example, but if you’re a baker, then it will present you in a professional light.

Stick with solid or blurred backgrounds so your face doesn’t get lost in the “noise”. And, finally, crop your image in a way that lets a bit of your shoulders into the shot so that you’re not just a magnified, bodiless head in your image.

4. Choose a relevant cover photo

Also referred to as a LinkedIn background image or a banner, a cover photo can convey additional information about you.

If you’re a creative, you can pick one of your photographs, designs or artworks to display across the top of your profile. If, on the other hand, you work in a more corporate setting, then an image of your workspace or office can work. Much like your profile photo, pay attention to the quality of the image as well as the cropping and lighting here.

Finally, a more generic picture can also communicate the cause you’re working in: a windmill against a backdrop of grassy fields if you work in the energy sector, for example.

5. Share your contact information

Your email address, contact number and general location should be included in your LinkedIn profile. It’s a good idea to create a professional email address if you haven’t already (time to retire “jenn_654” from your high school era) and to consider using Google Voice if you don’t have a separate phone number for work-related matters. You can choose who views your email address from your privacy settings: your 1st degree connections, 1st and 2nd degree connections, or anyone on LinkedIn.

Also, if you’ve got professional Facebook or Twitter accounts (no, we’re not ready to start calling it “X” yet), share them too.

6. Share external links

If you have a website, a blog or an online portfolio, you’ll want to add a link to it from your profile. Directing visitors to a place where they can find out more about you and what you do, and see real-life examples or applications of your work, is a perfect way to showcase your talent and know-how further.

As mentioned previously, direct users to any other professional social media accounts you have. Just make sure there’s nothing incriminating or too personal on there and that it’s all recruiter-friendly!

Watch our video on how to boost your LinkedIn profile and searchability:

7. Describe your work history

Adding your work experience to your profile demonstrates your expertise. Though you’ll want to be thorough, it’s generally advised not to go back more than 10–15 years when listing your work history, whether that’s on LinkedIn or your résumé.

If you’re a recent graduate with no experience, focus on carefully filling out the rest of the sections on your profile, such as your skills, education and interests. Also, don’t be afraid to openly state you’re looking for work experience! Use the “Open to Work” feature and your headline to your advantage — for example, “Graduated with Honors in Business Management” is a good way to show what stage you’re at in your career and what you’ve achieved so far.

8. Mention your education

Although your education might not be as relevant when you’ve been working for several years, it’s still good to include your higher education details on your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a recent school leaver or college graduate, however, you might want to mention your upper secondary education, too (particularly if you were a high achiever), as your profile might end up looking empty otherwise.

9. Add your skills

LinkedIn has a “Skills” section that all jobseekers should make use of. It lets you select up to 50 from a large list of skills and display them on your profile. These range from technical skills, such as cloud computing, to soft skills, like time management.

According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Most In-Demand Skills list, some of the top skills an employee can have are management, communication, leadership and research.

10. List your qualifications

Pursuing additional training and qualifications can demonstrate a commitment to and passion for what you do. So, if you’ve received any, you’ll want to list them on your profile right away.

Lifelong learning also conveys to prospective employers your ability to take initiative and motivate yourself, which is desirable regardless of industry.

11. Share your interests

There’s a section on your LinkedIn profile that shows your connections which people or companies you follow on the platform. This can be a great way to allow recruiters a glimpse into your inner world, so go ahead and pick your favorite companies, schools, thought leaders, non-profits and organizations.

Aside from this “Interests” section, there’s another section called “Causes” which allows you to communicate a different side to your personality. It lets you choose from a list of subjects, from arts and culture to civil rights, health and education, which is another opportunity to display what you’re passionate about outside of work.

12. Post relevant content

Posting content relevant to your industry is a good way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. The more valuable and relevant your content, the higher the chances that people will react with it and share it to their own network.

Prospective employers will appreciate seeing this kind of content from you, as it can demonstrate a mix of skills and qualities from written communication to knowledge and passion for what you do.

13. Utilize the “Featured” section

Although not everyone will have the capacity to do this, posting regularly is considered a best practice in terms of boosting your LinkedIn profile’s visibility.

If you do have time to post two to five times a week (or even if you post more infrequently), your most important posts will get lost over time, no longer appearing in the “Activity” section on your profile.

The “Featured” section allows you to pin your favorite posts in place and keep them there for visitors to look through when they arrive at your profile.

14. Use the “Open to Work” feature

If you’re looking for work, there’s a useful tool you’ll want to make use of on the platform. That’s the “Open to Work” feature, which adds a frame around your photo that signals to hiring managers that you’re interested in exploring job opportunities.

Using the feature can increase the number of messages you get from recruiters, and get you ranking higher in their candidate search results.

15. Change your URL

When you first sign up on the platform, you’ll be assigned a URL that combines your name with a string of random numbers. Changing it to your full name, your personal brand name or a combination of the two is better than keeping the bunch of arbitrary numbers you’ve been assigned. It will look more professional and make it easier for people to find you.

This can look like “nate-adams-psychologist” (profile URLs are not case-sensitive) or “marketing-with-phedra” or simply “danielsmith”. Your call!

16. Mention your additional languages

If you speak more than one language, you’ll want to mention it on your profile, under the “Languages” section, as it can open the door to more job prospects. But listing them does more than demonstrate your linguistic intelligence and enhance your employability: multilingualism speaks about your other skills, too. It’s been shown to enhance problem solving, creativity and empathy, all of which are desirable transferable skills in the workplace.

17. Request recommendations

LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations from your connections, which is essentially feedback to be displayed on your own profile. As is the case with requesting a reference letter from someone, you’ll want to pick people who know you well enough to speak fairly and accurately of your work ethic and performance.

18. Grow your connections

Networking online shouldn’t equate sending people requests and then never speaking to them again. Once you’ve connected with someone, engage with their posts and maintain some form of communication with them where you can.

Also, you’ll want to curate your network to suit your industry. This means pursuing connections with people that work in similar companies as you or care about the same things, as those are the connections that can lead to exciting opportunities down the line.

19. Avoid buzzwords

There are some words that might, in theory, sound good, but that might end up working against you and not in your favor if you use them on your profile. Examples include: “motivated”, “professional”, “skilled”, “experienced” and “successful”.

The reason that these words have lost their impact is that hiring managers see them all the time. Plus, it’s better to show, not tell. It’s best to say you’ve “exceeded sales targets by 20%” than be a self-proclaimed “strategic thinker”. Give the hiring manager the information and let them draw their own conclusions.

Avoiding these words applies when writing your résumé, too, by the way!

20. Follow companies you like

As we’ve seen, following companies on the networking platform will display them on your profile under “Interests”, which is a good way to communicate who you look up to in your industry and beyond.

At the same time, following and interacting with companies you could see yourself working at is a good way to stay up to date with their latest job openings and potentially connect with their staff.

21. Ensure information is up to date

Much like an out-of-date CV or résumé, a LinkedIn profile that’s sitting there, forgotten, won’t help you land the job you dream of or make meaningful connections — which, at the end of the day, is what the platform is there for.

If you do want to boost your career progression with LinkedIn, as-needed updates to your information, from your email address to your work history, are a must. A recruiter will always pick an active profile over one that seems to never be used.

22. Be consistent

If you’ve got a website, online portfolio or other professional social media accounts, you’ll want to mention them on your profile. But before you do so, you’ll also want to ensure that your name is spelled the same on all these websites and accounts; if you’ve had a surname change after marriage, for example, or a personal brand rename, display the same name on everything.

If you do use logos, banners and so on, you’ll want your visual elements to also be consistent across your various profiles. Stick to the same colors and fonts to maintain personal brand consistency!

23. Tailor your connection requests

Personalizing your connection requests is a good way to grow your network faster and form more meaningful connections. A well-thought-out message will simply have a greater impact than the generic, auto-generated “I’d like to connect”.

If you met the person you’re messaging somewhere in real life, tell them you really enjoyed the interaction and would like to keep in touch. If you don’t know them personally, tell them a recent post they shared really resonated with you and that you’d like to connect and exchange ideas.

24. Reach “All-Star” status

Filling out your LinkedIn profile to 100% completion is a good way to show prospective employers that you’re serious about finding work through the platform. The more that’s on there for them to see, the more informed the picture they’ll form of you in their minds: they’ll know about your education, work experience, skill set and interests at a glance, while your recent posts will reveal to them a little more about your personality and opinions.

As we’ve seen, the more complete your profile is, the more your name will appear in recruiters’ searches, too, boosting your chances of receiving messages.

25. Stay up to date with changes

As with all online platforms, LinkedIn is bound to keep evolving. And staying up to date with these changes will be to your advantage.

For example, the “Open to Work” feature that’s currently very popular was only introduced to users a few years ago, in 2020. Those who weren’t frequently logging in to post on the platform or keep their information updated may have missed out on using a feature that could have sped up their job search.

LinkedIn profile example

Dana Publicover LinkedIn profileDana Publicover via LinkedIn

Dana Publicover is a customer acquisition and retention expert and the founder of p&co, a growth marketing agency. Her to-the-point LinkedIn headline and cover photo communicate this information at a glance, while a link just below her profile picture allows you to quickly navigate to her marketing agency’s website to find out more.

Her profile picture, a brightly colored headshot in which she’s seen smiling, portrays Dana as both friendly and professional. Underneath, the “Featured” section showcases the top posts on her profile, while her detailed “Experience” and “Volunteering” sections give you a more specific account of what she’s worked on.

Dana’s profile also lists her certifications, skills, interests and recommendations she’s received from others. This allows her personality to shine through, giving you an idea of not only how she perceives herself but how she appears in the eyes of those she’s worked with.

Overall, her profile has thoroughly and carefully been filled in, conveying a sense of professionalism and dedication to her craft.

Key takeaways

With just under a billion users, LinkedIn is the biggest professional social media platform out there. It makes sense that any professional looking to explore new opportunities, form new connections and advance their career should make at least some use of the platform’s potential.

To summarize, to maximize the benefits of using LinkedIn:

  • Find personalized ways to reach out to people. Generic connection requests don’t set the tone for effective networking.
  • Pay attention to the details. Pick professional pictures for your profile and cover photos, and try to keep your posts and sections free of errors.
  • Post as regularly as you can. Though no one expects you to be active on LinkedIn constantly, sharing your opinions, ideas and useful information from time to time will work in your favor.
  • Keep your information up to date. If you change your contact information, get a promotion or receive a new certification, make sure to update your profile to reflect these.

Can you think of any more tips for using LinkedIn effectively? Share your thoughts in a comment below.

Originally published on July 25, 2019.